Cheap Leaky Buildings for Sale

If you are seriously in the hunt to buy a bargain property, just be careful that you don’t actually get more than what you bargained for!

In this case, a ‘first time’ unexperienced buyer of leaky buildings hired me to moisture test a property after he had already payed a non-refundable deposit (auction).

If you see any advertising telling you about cheap leaky buildings for sale, then please proceed cautiously, because some leaky buildings leak so badly that they are beyond your standard re-clad to fix up.

Recently I did a home inspection for a client who was aware the home had moisture issues… it even stated that in the marketing materials for the home. You see, it’s easy for a real estate agent to say “the building might need a total re-clad”, but what if all the floor joists are also rotted? If you see a leaky home/building for sale in the Mission Bay, St Heliers, Kohimarama area at just $270k, then surely you would have to be suspicious there is more than meets the eye, right? You bet! Especially when it’s on a tiny cross leased piece of land with no view.

So what’s it really worth?

Unless your an experienced builder or investor who has dealt with leaky buildings in the past, then in my opinion you will need a complete structural intergrity survey of the home first (Don’t get excited by the price to quickly)… and if it’s so rotted that it’s close to a ‘knock down’ (don’t forget to factor in costs to take it away), then it’s barely worth the piece of dirt it sits on.

Everything property is a good deal at the right price, but make sure you also factor in your building experience into the price… and don’t let the hype of an auction grab your bank account and tear it apart like I have just witnessed!

Maybe ask a current or past leaky building owner if they would buy another one for a cheap price.  I highly doubt it… especially if they aren’t experienced in the building industry. Take Care!

Gutter Leak Causes ‘Leaky Home’

Don’t panic if your home has leaks… it doesn’t mean it’s a leaky home.

Here’s what a client ‘expressed concern’ about recently during a pre purchase infrared moisture inspection…

Whilst doing a pre purchase inspection for leaks in Glenfield recently, we came across a leak with the infrared camera that was quite a heavy one (see photo below). The potential buyer of the home hit the panic button and said to me “is this a leaky home?“.

leaking gutter

There is a BIG difference between a ‘home with leaks’ and a ‘leaky home’. For starters, the home was built in the 70’s, had weatherboard cladding and eves. The buyer wasn’t really aware of the basic ‘red flags’ for a leaky building, such as no eves, generally have plaster cladding, no cavity, untreated timber etc etc. This home was quite the opposite.

If you come across a leak in the building you live in, or a home you’re looking to buy, then in many cases it’s just that… a leak. The photo below is a heavy leak I found with the thermal imaging camera. The seller of the home investigated the exterior of the home directly above the suspect area, and it turned out to be a blocked gutter that was full of water and had overflowed back over the soffit and down into the walls.

Regardless, it’s lucky the home buyer knew about this leak for negotiation purposes. Don’t buy a home in NZ until you know what’s behind the walls!

What Does a Leaky Home/Building Look Like?

If you don’t know what a leaky home or leaky building looks like, then you’re not the only one.

What is the perception created from a ‘look-a-like’ leaky home?

Recently I was contacted by newspaper reporter Michelle Coursey at the NZ Herald regarding the first thoughts some home buyers have when they come across a property for sale that ‘looks like’ a leaky home… or when they find out the home was built in the 1990’s. (A link to the published article is at the bottom of this page for you to read). 

You can read about my own personal ‘first thoughts’ when I drive up a driveway to do a thermal imaging leak inspection, and see a home with no eves or window flashings infront of me (contributing factors to a leaky home) in the Herald newspaper article. You can also read how the different real estate agents responded to the same question. One agent said one of her clients ‘freaked out’ when taken to view a home with monolithic cladding, while another agent said people won’t even get past seeing a picture on the internet of a home for sale that ‘looks like’ a leaky building.

Not all homes that use ‘that type of cladding’ leak… but unfortunately the stigma surrounding them could have a real impact should the home owner decide to sell. I’ve spoken to people who have a leaky home, and they tell me they certainly will be changing the type of exterior finish when they come around to doing the re-clad, to help prevent being labelled having a leaky home before it’s even been tested for moisture.

Take a read of the NZ Herald article here….

‘Leaky Look Deters Buyers’

NZ Leaky Homes – Signs of a Leaky Home or Leaky Building

If you suspect you have a leaky home, or signs of a leaky home(s), there are a few basics you can take to help prevent water infiltrating your asset.

First you need establish what area the leak could be entering. This is usually very hard to work out with the naked eye, as water can travel up, down, sideways and into the smallest of cracks and voids.

leaky home mould

DIY basics to help avoid water infiltrating your home:

1) Walk around your home and carefully look at the surface of every wall for cracks or pentrations. Something as simple as a nail poking out could let water in around it and cause moisture damage. Seal it fast!

2) Sill flashings under your windows. Check the joinery is sealed and no ‘obvious’ gaps are present for water to infiltrate. This is a common area for water leaks.

3) Meter boards need to be sealed properly.

4) Where your deck balustrades (hand railings) connect to the wall.

If you find penetrations on your exterior walls, the chances that water could have already entered your walls is high. Simply fixing the penetration isn’t enough… the area of concern should be checked with a thermal imaging camera and moisture meter to help determine the extent of the leak/damage. You may need to open up the area and let it dry out, which in turn will help prevent future structural integrity issues.

At the end of the day, the majority of NZ home buyers will now get a moisture inspection & building inspection before signing the dotted line. If you think you could have moisture behind your walls, you should call us asap… every day you leave it sit could mean a decrease in the equity of your home. Catch the moisture issues early before you suddenly become an owner of one of those NZ leaky homes!

Contact us today for a free thermal imaging quote.

Consumerbuild has detailed info regarding the above here

Leaky Home Bill Ends Up With Forced Sale

The leaky home saga only gets more interesting as time passes. It’s not so interesting for the lady in the story below, who was part of a body corporate that won a 5 million dollar out of court settlement… yet was still forced to sell her home!

 How do you avoid such problems? The easy answer here would be “don’t buy a leaky home”… but a more realistic answer would be to get it checked for leaks and moisture on a regular basis during the course of your ownership. Getting caught with a leaky home (or any home that leaks for that matter) can be a nightmare to sell, so that’s why you need to stay on top of your homes ‘health’ at all times… no different to going to a dentist for a regular check up. If you detect minor problems behind the wall early enough, you simply fix it or sell it before it’s all too late.

Here’s what you don’t want to happen to your ‘investment’ property 

Leak Bill Brings Forced Sale

We detect small leaks behind walls before they become a big problem!

Contact us today for a detailed leak detection diagnostic on your property

Could a Leaky Home Really Drive Someone to Depression and Suicide Attempts?

Is your current home your future coffin?

That sounds like a very strong opening statement I know, but not getting a home checked for leaks prior to purchasing a property could potentially lead you down a scary path… fast! Getting your current or future home inspected for excess moisture behind the walls on a regular basis is absolutely critical these days… here’s why:

Recently in Auckland a lady had her worst nightmare come true, and it all began with good intentions to buy a ‘solid’ investment, just like you or I would. Not so. Here’s what the NZ Herald had to say about this story…

“Leaks Drove Me to Suicide Bids”

Is there a moisture or health risk hiding behind your walls?

Contact us today… we can see what the human eye can’t!

Which Wall Cladding in NZ is Most Likely to Leak if Not Installed Correctly?

If your home is leaking, or you think there could be moisture ingress behind the walls, it can also be caused from a small penetration on the exterior wall or the roof. You can view a very interesting picture, and also read about the quickest way to detect moisture ingress in your walls, ceiling and floor here. has an excellent website that covers all different aspects of leaking homes, and more detail about the claddings used on NZ homes. Find their website here.

Building Inspection Vs Thermal Imaging

Recently I was asked “What’s the difference between a building inspection and a thermal imaging inspection?”

Both a building inspector and a certified thermal imaging inspector play very important roles in the pre purchase process of buying a home. Wise home buyers these days are now getting both types of inspections to help reduce their chances of buying a lemon.

Thermal imaging can see what the human eye can not see. 

How about this photo below… do you think a regular building inspector that doesn’t use thermal imaging will find this missing insulation and leak behind the wall? The really good inspectors will find it, but some won’t. With thermal imaging, we supply you with a photo exactly like the one below with a highly detailed image of where the problem is, allowing the building inspector to go directly to the area and check for potential issues and structural integrity of the area.

kitchen exhaust fall leak

(Image taken inside an NZ home)


The picture below is another example of what we mean: Thermal imaging cameras detect temperature differences on any given surface, and when we see an inconsistent pattern in the camera , we then know where the problem starts and where it finishes. Take the picture below of an air leak for example… do you really think a building inspector is going to be able to visually see areas of air infiltration into your home? This type of air leak can drive up your energy bills in winter due to heat loss.

underfloor Heat

You should really have a thermal imaging scan before a building inspection, for this reason… if you can supply the qualified building inspector with thermal imaging photos of the home, then he can look closer at the structural integrity of the building where the problem areas have been identified in addition to his usual inspection routine.

Contact us today for a complete thermal imaging inspection of your next home!